Blockchain and the shipping industry

After having been for more than seven years in the shipping industry I know one or two things about logistics and international trade. And one of them is precisely the urgent need of the industry for automation and digitization. Without questions, the technological tool is the blockchain.

Giants logistics players as DHL are considering seriously the benefits of the blockchain for the shipping industry

In a very complex industry derived by the number of steps and procedures that require nowadays to ship something from one country to another, and also, in a industry that no one company is such big to offer perfect door to door service (sometimes in a single shipment intervene around 10 different companies, considering the custom brokerage, the inland transportation, the air or sea carrier and the freight forwarder) it is difficult to be in real time accurate informed about the precise location of the shipping.

For that reason, sincerely I believe not merely the blockchain will turn the shipping industry in a better and in a more transparent industry, but it will turn the current industry in a new one with the possibility to become totally digitized and automated.

5 Real World Blockchain Applications That Are Transforming Industries – Data Driven Investor

For now, the big players in the shipping industry are researching and exploring several ways of how blockchain can improve the global supply chain. Basically, the main ways that blockchain can be implemented in the logistics business are as follow:

-The certification and authentication of goods, documents, and signatures.

-The real-time tracking of shipments.

-The money transfers for payments.

Probably I´m not telling even the half of realistic uses that big players in the business will use.

Recently I read a document made by DHL and Accenture called “BLOCKCHAIN IN LOGISTICS. Perspectives on the upcoming impact of blockchain technology and use cases for the logistics industry” (find the document below in the references), which expose and define the lines of research and development this old and well-known giant of logistics, the perspectives of business in the medium and long term. The document also speaks out about the ways of the logistics and shipping industries will be impacted.

The transcendence of the document is huge because exposes perfectly the authentic interest of the big players have put in the blockchain (and, certainly billions and billions of USD in it). Until now, we have seen only startups and small companies applying blockchain solutions to solve logistics and shipping problems. But, when the big players in the business, such as DHL began to implement (globally or locally) the blockchain solutions to real life logistics issues, it will be a complete game-changing.

As a conclusion, I can say at this point that is not very clear how and when DHL will begin to offer logistics services based on blockchain, but what it is true, is that sooner or later they will do and the way of usual operations in the shipping industry, will change forever the logistics business.


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